Your Hump Day Reading List for July 27, 2016

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More great personal security, home protection and preparedness information this week, including: what hunting can teach you about shooting positions; Greg Ellifritz is back with some information about lockdowns; Claude Werner digests FBI statistics and comes up with surprising conclusions; when a cheap gun beats a quality gun; personal safety insights from South Africa; how to protect a church and the people inside it; practicing personal security and preparedness; and why those window stickers might be making you a target. ...

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What do you do with all your situational awareness?

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“Situational awareness”. It’s one of the throwaway personal safety tips that are always trotted out after a horrific news story.

So you work really hard to have it; then what? No, seriously: what do you do with all that situational awareness?

It’s one thing if your situational awareness finds an imminent attack, but that’s not what I (or they) mean. Usually the advice is meant to caution the reader/viewer to be alert enough to spot cues which might signal an impending incident. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 20, 2016

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It’s Hump Day, which means it’s time for education and enlightenment! Claude Werner talks about mindset, decision making, and training both; a defensive shooting what really wasn’t, despite what your friends think; Greg Ellifritz shows you how drug stores are really dangerous places, and what to do about it; some tips for women on learning defensive shooting skills; dealing with a disaster when away from home; how to properly evaluate a belt for concealed carry; some thoughts on what experience ...

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Steyr AUG surprise: an unappreciated advantage for defensive use

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You might remember that I’ve spent the last 18 months living with the Steyr AUG A3 M1 bullpup rifle. During that time I’ve been rather exclusive, using the AUG in place of all the other centerfire rifles I know and love. (Of course I’ve shot a lot of rimfire rifles during that time, but I think the Steyr will forgive me.) I’ve paid very little attention to any other defensive rifle, especially the AR-15, and haven’t really even had ...

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Putting your self protection plan into action

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What do juicy, red onions have to do with your self protection plan? You might be surprised!

After my last two articles on threat assessment and prioritizing your self protection plan, I received an email asking for a little clarification. “I understand the idea of identifying threats, but how do I decide on the things I need to do to protect myself from each one?”, the reader asked.

That’s a great question. It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 13, 2016

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This week’s Hump Day Reading List includes an article on how to get the exercise you know you need; developing a defensive mindset; Greg Ellifritz looks at how terrorist attacks on airports are evolving; the AK as a defensive rifle; how to design your own home alarm system; what you need in an auto emergency kit; grandmas have always carried guns, but now they’re not afraid to admit it; and a look at the 20-gauge as a defensive tool. All ...

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Your self protection plan: prioritizing your resources

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When it comes to personal security, family safety, and home protection preparation, sometimes getting started is the hard part. That’s why I had you do the threat assessment exercise, because the results help you decide where you should start. That assessment can help guide your self protection plan so you know what to do first!

Self protection plan: by the numbers

If you’ve completed the threat assessment — identifying and ranking the dangers you might face — you now have some ...

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Self defense for the disabled on Training Talk!

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On this week’s Training Talk show at Personal Defense Network I had a great conversation with guest Joshua Gideon of No Soft Targets about how disabled people can prepare and train for their own self defense.

It’s an important topic, and as we all age (or sometimes have accidents) we’re often left less able to defend ourselves. Listen in as Joshua tells us how he approached the problems of one student, and how the training world can adapt to ...

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Threat Assessment: the first step in security planning

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In the last installment I left you with the idea that planning your personal security is something that you should make the effort to do. You’ll havemore effective defensive preparations (you’ll get better results) and more efficient ones too (you’ll make the best use of your preparedness resources.) As I’ve pointed out in many books and articles, those preparedness resources are limited; you don’t have an inexhaustible supply of time, energy, or money. You need to get results from the ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 6, 2016

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It’s the first Hump Day of July, and I’ve got some great self defense and personal security articles for you: can you handle your own get-home bag?; Greg Ellifritz has some great tips on very discreet concealment; keeping your defensive revolver running perfectly; teaching children to stand up to bullies; why you need multiple medical kits; how the mainstream media is advising people to respond to active killers; and why the carotid restraint hold isn’t a toy.

 

How ambitious should your ...

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Happy Independence Day!

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I’m taking the day off from my normal blogging topics! I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a safe celebration of the holiday.

Perhaps while you’re enjoying the parades, barbecues, and fireworks you might take a moment to pause and reflect on our Founding Fathers. They put their lives on the line to break away from England; they were men of means, of property, and risked losing everything just for this crazy idea of having their own free country.

Let’s not ...

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Plan your personal security like a vacation

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In Monday’s article about self defense tips I mentioned that the path to personal security, home defense and family protection doesn’t come from digesting little soundbites or snippets of information. Those sorts of things might make you feel good or give you a temporary (and very illusory) sense of security, but in reality they don’t do much to actually make you or your family any safer.

What will help with your safety and defense preparations? First, taking a look at ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 29, 2016

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This week’s Hump Day Reading List is full of great information for the self-reliant! First, a new course promises to open your eyes to a new way of looking at personal safety; how to help your body adapt to summer’s heat; Greg Ellifritz looks at the question of giving first aid to someone you’ve defended yourself from; a look at what happens when you’re distracted in public; you’re a prepper and probably don’t even realize it; why you really do ...

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Self defense is more than just reading some “safety tips”. Here’s why.

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Every morning I get up, make a cup of tea, and sit down to do my morning reading. One of the things that comes across my desk (well, my iPad screen anyhow) is a Google Alerts search for the term “self defense”. I get quite a few news stories in that feed; the most common type are criminals claiming self defense for killing a drug-dealing rival. Wonder why self defense claims are met with some skepticism by prosecutors AND defense ...

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“All The Lumens”: how much flashlight do you really need for self defense?

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I got an interesting email in response to my recent review of the FourSevens Quark Smart QS2L-X and Preon P2 lights. In that review I said that the lithium-powered Quark Smart, at 950 lumens, was actually more than enough light for my purposes and that the Preon at 220 lumens was still easily sufficient for use as a defensive tool.

From the tone of the email you’d think I’d attacked holy writ! He told me that I was ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 22, 2016

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In this week’s Reading List: a course to build your situational awareness; planning ahead to foil a home invasion; why you need a get-home bag; securing your home in the country; how to spot a card skimmer; self defense for those who can’t fight; and a look at bugging out as a survival strategy.

 

Threat Awareness Workshop coming up soon!

We talk a lot about the idea of how to stay aware of your surroundings, but how many of us have ever ...

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Flashlight Review: FourSevens Preon P2 and lithium Quark Smart

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Last week I reviewed the new FourSevens Quark Smart QS2A-X and found it to be perhaps the ideal self defense flashlight for the average person. Now I said “average person”, not “training junkie” or “tactical hobbyist” — one of the reasons I put it that way is because it uses ubiquitous AA batteries, either alkaline or rechargeable, which are a cheap and readily available power source. The AA-powered Quark Smart is cheap to run, which means it’s more likely to ...

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Training Talk looks at fighting back during active shooter events. Watch the episode now!

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Last night’s Training Talk episode was a great one!

Rob Pincus joined me for a wide-ranging discussion about dealing with active shooter/spree killer events, focusing on the will and preparation to fight — using whatever tools might be at hand. In addition Rob filled us in on the new online PDN Academy courses, a new distance learning initiative for self defense knowledge and skills.

If you missed it, click here to watch the replay!

— Grant Cunningham

 

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Want to improve your skill development? Take notes during class. Lots of ’em.

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A couple of years ago I was teaching a class in which there was an interesting mix of students: there were two public-sector firearms instructors, one from a state agency and one from a federal agency, along with the normal range of people you’d find at any shooting course anywhere in the country — blue collar, white collar, redneck and professional. All of them were motivated enough to sign up for class and pay good money for the dubious privilege ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 15, 2016

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This week we’re going to look at the importance of first aid during a terrorist attack; a man defends himself with a saucepan; some realities your CCW instructor didn’t tell you; why the pistol caliber carbine is a home defense winner; the fallacy behind night sights; understanding flashlights beyond lumens; senior citizens head to the range, for good reasons; why your defensive shooting instruction may not be all that valid; and finally, it’s not just the drug addict on the ...

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Is this the best self defense flashlight yet? FourSevens Quark Smart review

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Background

For many years now my carry light of choice has been the FourSevens Quark Tactical QT2A-X. It had most of the features I demand in a self defense light: it has sufficiently high output to work as a distraction tool, but at the same time has a fairly wide beam which is ideal for lighting up confined spaces; it’s long enough, thanks to the two AA batteries it houses, to serve as a makeshift Kubaton (which I’ve been trained to ...

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Book Review: The Law of Self Defense, Third Edition, by Andrew Branca

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A little over two years ago I reviewed the Second Edition of Andrew Branca’s book “The Law Of Self Defense”. In that review I said:

“If you own a gun for home or personal protection, I highly recommend that you get a copy of LOSD. It will explain the legal system thoroughly yet understandably, and will give you the information you need to deal with the laws where you live.”

It’s now two years later and Branca recently sent me a ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 8, 2016

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I’m always looking for great self defense information that the average person can really use, and this week I found a bunch of great articles! First, a look at training to use a defensive firearm even if the user has some infirmities; a real-life reason why you should have a “get home bag”; don’t call unwanted attention to your car; a look at some realities of police shootings that have important lessons in the private sector; the 12-gauge shotgun, properly ...

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The AR-15 does a lot of things well. Except this.

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Sometimes I think I’m the only person in the shooting/self defense field who’s actually thinking about the average person: the man or woman who doesn’t want to become a soldier or a police officer, doesn’t want to look like one, doesn’t want to spend all their free time on a shooting range, and doesn’t care about a PR in a WOD. (I had to look those up to figure out what they were, too!) I mention this because I take ...

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Did you miss last night’s Training Talk? You missed a great discussion about women’s concealed carry!

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Last night’s episode of PDN Training Talk was superb!

My special guest was Julie Loeffler, who did a great great job explaining the issues women face with concealed carry of defensive tools. She started explaining about women’s body types and how to pick concealment holsters and clothing for each type; then she = covered belts, yoga pants, bellybands, and even a bit about shoes and carrying a flashlight clipped to a bra strap!

If you’re a woman who is getting into concealed carry, or ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 1, 2016

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It’s the first of June, and what better way to celebrate with some great articles? I’ll start with yet another example of what NOT to do with your personal defense handgun; a look at what burglars do when they enter a home; should you carry a gun in church?; debunking myths about tourniquets; keeping toddlers safe around guns; a guide to buying a suppressor; keeping safe in hotels; and speaking of suppressors, a look at a cool vintage one.

 

You are ...

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Looking for the finest revolvers you can buy? Korth is finally coming to the U.S.!

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At the NRA Show last week a surprise lurked: another company known for 1911 pistols decided to jump into the revolver market. This time the company was Nighthawk Custom, and the revolvers they showed weren’t your average, ordinary wheelguns.

That’s because Nighthawk decided to team up with an established revolver maker, but one that has never officially sold their products in this country. That maker is the legendary Korth from Germany, makers of what have been described as the “Rolls Royce” ...

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Catch last night’s Training Talk replay!

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Another great show last night on Training Talk!

I discussed what I did at the NRA Meetings and Exhibits; dissected some self defense myths overheard at the show; discussed a different way to look at what a threat is; answered a viewer who wanted to know what to do when faced with a physical infirmity; considered an elderly but untrained person’s gun choice; went over what makes a defensive flashlight; and explored  traveling light as a defensive tool.

Here’s the link to the show page

— Grant 

P.S.: Remember to ...

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The NRA Show, part two: self defense products

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As I mentioned on Wednesday, I attended the NRA Annual Meetings (NRAAM) last weekend in Louisville, KY. The major attraction is the trade show which is an integral part of the event. It’s the country’s largest consumer trade show focused on shooting, whether it’s for sport, competition, or self defense.

It’s that last item which I’m most interested in and the reason I attend. It’s a chance to see what’s new in the gear for self defense but also to ...

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The NRA Show, part one: the “gunny” stuff

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On Wednesdays I normally post a Hump Day Reading List, but this week is a little different!

I’ve just returned from the NRA Annual Meetings in Louisville, KY. The big draw for the NRAAM is the trade show, which is the largest consumer trade show in the shooting industry (the annual SHOT Show is restricted to industry members.)

While the show is geared toward guns for all kinds of purposes a very large percentage of the people attending are in the ...

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